Showing posts from April, 2011

Hospitals public meeting on Tuesday

I was going to write a blog post urging everyone to attend the public meeting this coming Tuesday (3rd May) at the United Reformed church hall at Market Place about local hospital services. But I can't find a better form of words than the letter which appeared in this week's Whitehaven News, written by the Rev John Bannister, and I am sure neither he nor the Whitehaven News will mind me quoting it in full. On the hospitals blog (see link at right) I also quote letters on the subject from a consultant surgeon and from former councillor Ronnie Copeland. Make your voices heard in defence of hospital services SIR – On Tuesday, May 3, there will be a public meeting at 6.30pm in the United Reformed Church Hall on James Street. The meeting has been called by the ‘Save Our Services’ Group who have, over the past decade, acted as a pressure group for the retention of essential clinical services at West Cumberland Hospital. A recently published report setting out the services which GPs a

Congratulations and Best wishes to Wills and Kate

I am sure I join millions of people, here and around the world, in saying congratulations and best wishes to the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their wedding day.

Of book sales and robots

One of my hobbies is reading books: another is buying and selling them. Online retailers such as Amazon are one of the places I often use when looking for a book or trying to sell one. Generally the price of books online is related to supply and demand, but you do get the odd instance when prices don't appear to make sense. Sometimes you get ludicrously high prices asked - at other times the price has dropped to 1p plus postage for a book which is large and heavy enough that the sellers can't expect to receive more money in total than the book will cost to send. A major part of the reason for this is when sellers have used a computer to set their prices. In an interesting blogpost over Easter, " Amazon’s $23,698,655.93 book about flies ," Michaek Eisen discussed how this can produce all manner of perverse results. As readers observed in the comments thread, strange results in stock markets and currency markets can result from the action of similar computer programmes.

Refuse collection over the Easter & Wedding period

Easter Waste and Recycling Collections by Copeland Borough Council will be amended over the next two weeks as a result of the Easter, Royal Wedding and May Day bank holidays. CBC carried out waste and recycling collections on Friday 22 April (Good Friday) and will also do so on Friday 29 April (Royal Wedding). However they did not make any collections today (Monday 25 April) and will not do so on Monday 2 May. Collection days will therefore change as follows: Collections which would normally haver taken place today (Monday 25 April) will be postponed to Tuesday 26 April. Collections which would normally have taken place tomorrow, Tuesday 26th, will be postponed to Wednesday 27th April Similarly Wednesday 27 April collections will be postoned to Thursday 28 April Thursday 28 April collections will be postponed to Friday 29 April Friday 29 April collections will be postponed to Saturday 30 April Monday 2 May collections will be postponed to Tuesday 3 May Tuesday 3 May collections will

Happy Easter

May the Easter spring bring peace and happiness to everyone reading this blog today.

Happy St George's Day

Today is the saint's day of the Patron Saint of England A very happy St George's Day to everyone reading this

Two weeks to go ...

Until the local elections and the AV referendum The contest for seats on Copeland Council is becoming, a little like the last general election, one between hope and fear. The Conservative slogan is "Vote for a better Copeland." Conservative leaflets spell our positive policies to attract business and jobs, such as free parking, how to improve quality of life, such as paying more attention to basic services such as cleaner streets, and how we will pay for it (scrap the full-time leader and executive, and return to a balanced committee system.) The Labour slogan is "Your Voice in Tough Times." Labour leaflets concentrate on how terrible the national situation is (without the faintest acknowledgement that the Labour government which was in office untill less than a year ago might have had anything to do with this) and promise in very vague terms to "stand up for" the needs of the community. Considering that they have been running Copeland Council for twenty y

Elisabeth Sladen RIP

"Sarah Jane Smith" was one of the best of Doctor Who's assistants and my children love the spin off "Sarah Jane Adventures." So I was shocked to see that Elisabeth Sladen, the actress who played the character, has died aged 63 from cancer. She died yesterday leaving behind her husband, actor Brian Miller, and daughter Sadie. Rest in Peace.

Why you should vote "No" to AV

David Cameron writes: "With less than three weeks to go until the AV referendum, we need to do everything we can to convince people to go to the polling stations and vote 'No' on May 5th. I've been on the campaign trail the last few days, and it's been great to meet voters from right across the political spectrum supporting our campaign. But it's clear that lots of people still haven't made up their minds - so we've got to keep on working to get the message out there that AV is an unfair, expensive and discredited system. This is not just about how we vote in General Elections. It's about how politics works, how governments are formed and ultimately, how our country is run. WHY YOU SHOULD VOTE 'NO' TO AV AV is unfair: With our current system, everyone gets one vote. But under AV, supporters of extreme parties like the BNP would be more likely to get their votes counted more times, meaning their votes are worth more than yours. AV is unclear

From the local papers ...

Thursday's Whitehaven News contained the following letter from local businesswoman Carla Arrighi: SIR – As many of your readers are aware, myself and several other people are running a campaign in support of getting an elected mayor. This has not been an easy task, because although we have had a lot of support of the community, we have had no help from the council – the opposite, in fact. To be eligible to sign our petition you have to be over 18, and live in the Copeland area. Fair enough. But how come a prospective Labour councillor is allowed to stand when he does not even live in the area? He does work in the area and this is one of the requirements, but it means that if he wanted to sign my petition he would not be able to, but he would be able to be a councillor. I wonder if your readers think this is fair or democratic? Carla Arrighi Some of those reading this may have been wondering which candidate Carla is referring to, whether he is one of those standing to represent the

DC on immigration

Here is the text of the speech due to be delivered today by David Cameron on immigration "A year ago, we were in the middle of a general election campaign. And there was one message I heard loud and clear on the doorstep: we want things to be different. People said they wanted a government that didn't just do what was good for the headline or good for their party but good for the long term and good for our country. That's what we're engaged in. Clearly, cutting public spending isn't popular, but it's right to bring sense to our public finances. People said they wanted a government that actually trusted them to use their own common sense. That's the kind of government we want to be – giving neighbourhoods and individuals a whole range of new powers … scrapping so much of the bureaucracy that drove us mad. People said they were sick of seeing those who did the right thing get punished and the wrong thing rewarded. Again, that's what we're acting on. I

Swimathon result

I completed the National Swimathon yesterday, swimming 5,000 metres (200 lengths of Copeland Pool) in one hour fifty minutes and fifty seconds. A big thank you again to all those who sponsored me for this event - thanks also to the staff at Copeland pool for their part in making the event run smoothly. Since the Swimathon was launched in 1986, £35 million has been raised for a host of good causes, and over half a million swimmers have taken part. It is not too late to sponsor me and support Marie Curie cancer care, which you can do so at the swimathon website here.

Swimathon 2011 - a big thank you

The National Swimathon, which is 25 years old this year hs now started. I will be doing my swim tomorrow at Copeland pool. A big thnk you to all the friends and colleagues who have already sponsored me for this event - just to show that we don't always disagree, incidentally, they include both Conservative and Labour councillors. Since the Swimathon was launched in 1986, £35 million has been raised for a host of good causes, and over half a million swimmers have taken part. This year Swimathon aims to raise over £2 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care and The Swimathon Foundation. It will be the 18th consecutive year have taken part. I plan to swim 5,000 metres at Copeland pool tomorrow morning (Sunday 10th April). Anyone who would like to sponsor me and support Marie Curie cancer care can do so at the swimathon website here.

Candidates nominated for Copeland Council

Here are the "Statement of persons nominated" documents for the May 2011 Copeland council elections. (Am gradually putting these onto the blog - have been having fun getting them into a format Blogger will accept.) Click on each to open and click again to zoom. Arlecdon ward nominations Beckermet ward nominations Bootle ward nominations Bransty ward nominations Cleator Moor (North) ward nominations Cleator Moor (South) ward nominations Distington ward nominations Egremont (North) ward nominations Egremont (South) ward nominations Ennerdale ward nominations Frizington ward nominations Gosforth ward nominations Harbour ward nominations Haverigg ward nominations Hemsingham ward nominations

Monbiot turns on the Anti-Nuclear lobby

Journalist and Green writer George Monbiot, who used to be an opponent of Nuclear Power himself, has a coruscating article in the Guardian today, " The unpalatable truth is that the anti-nuclear lobby has misled us all ." He describes how he realised after asking for supporting evidence for comments made by leading anti-nuclear campaigner Dr Helen Caldicott during a debate, that she was unable to provide any reputable scientific evidence to support many of her statements. Monbiot has published his correspondence with Dr Caldicott on his website here . He examines some of the myths and legends spread by the anti-nuclear lobby, such as the wild claim that radiation from the Chernobyl disaster killed 985,000 people. A review by the journal Radiation Protection Dosimetry of the study cited by Dr Caldicott and others to support this claim points out that this figure is achieved by the remarkable method of assuming that all increased deaths from a wide range of diseases – includi